Am kind of sad that I have only just discovered the delights of macarons. The idea of ground almonds has always put me off, probably as a result of the cloying taste of almond fingers that my mother was always so fond of. It used to drive me mad that anything in the same box as these fingers would have an almond flavour to them, yuck! After watching Zumbos at the weekend I knew I had to give them a try and see what I had been missing out on. Zumbos is based in a bakery in Australia where macarons are their speciality, people queue up before the shop even opens to buy these little discs of yumminess. Form an orderly queue at the kitchen counter please.....
This recipe comes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and featured in The Guardian.
- 125g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 165g ground almonds
- 3 egg whites
- 55g caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the ganache
- 100g plain chocolate
- 100ml double cream
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and mark out 24 circles of approximately 4.5cm.
Sieve icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl and whisk in the ground almonds.
Whisk the egg whites and gradually add caster sugar until stiff glossy peaks are formed.
Stir in half the almond mixture then add the rest along with the vanilla. Fold until just combined.
Transfer into a freezer bag and snip of one of the corners before piping onto baking sheets.
Tap the sheets against worktop to get rid of air bubbles.
Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly firm.
Transfer the parchment to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the ganache by heating the cream until simmering then pour onto the broken up chocolate.
Leave for 2 minutes before stirring until cool.
Sandwich the macarons together with the ganache.
Refrigerate until required.
To make life a little easier I put the freezer bag into a pitcher jug before scraping in the mixture. I must invest in some proper bags and nozzles as I would love to perfect these little discs. These have a gorgeous chewy texture and surprisingly I could not get an almond taste from them just luscious chocolate. Would love to attempt some pink and green ones so watch this space!!